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Showing posts from July, 2008

Walking the Walk

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I was driving down the road the other day, and it was one of those off the beaten path kind of roads mind you, when I noticed a group of young people walking down a non-existent shoulder, carrying a crucifix and a Papal Flag. This merited investigation. This is not something I'm accustomed to seeing on the back roads of Delaware County, PA.

It turns out that these five young people were college students on a special kind of pilgrimage, walking (get this) from MAINE to Washington, D.C. They are known as Missionaries of the Eucharist and their goal is to take the Theology of the Body to the streets! Yes... it's amazing.

Here's the mission statement from their website:

"This summer a group of Catholic young men and women will be walking from Maine to Washington DC trying to build a culture of life and love. Their mission? To proclaim the beauty of the Catholic faith, through the lens of the Theology of the Body, with their words, hearts, and bodies."

So I quickly parke…

Carry, Push, or Draw?

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Well, my nephew and I have returned from a refreshing and simultaneously exhausting trip up North.... yes, even the word North conjours up sweet memories.... of mosquitoes.

For some cosmic reason out of my control (what is in my control anyway?) the usual blissful, warm days, cool nights, birches, balsam, and sea breezes that I was accustomed to tasting in my trips to Maine at the end of July were... gone. Thanks to some Tropical Storm hundreds of miles away, we were sogged with fog, rained on by rain, and hugged with humidity. And those winged harbingers of doom... oiy!

Mosquitoes the size of small mammals were everywhere. They could bite through jeans! JEANS! I'm not making that up! I think they've been genetically manipulated or something... but why? and by whom? Ah, that's a thought for another day.

Seriously, the trip was great. It wasn't all rain and pain. What's life without bugs and suffering anyway? My dad says the skeeters are here to remind us that "th…

Bill and Sean's Excellent Adventure!

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What's This All About?

This weekend (and all of next week), as a gift for his recent Confirmation into the fullness of the Catholic Faith, I'm taking my nephew on a journey of biblical proportions. He doesn't know where we're going, but he knows it's a leap of faith and a walk closer to the Lord (sometimes a hike;)

In order for family and friends to keep abreast of our journeys, I've created a blog, aptly named "Bill and Sean's Excellent Adventure!" This will allow us to post messages and pictures and for everyone else to read about and envy in the good sense of the word some of the deep (and not so deep) thoughts and conversations we'll be having as we travel into the wild! All are welcome to pop in for a virtual visit! The blog will be the canvas on which we paint our travels!

HERE IT IS AGAIN IN ALL IT'S GLORY: http://billandseansexcellentadventure.blogspot.com/

Please say a prayer for our safe travels and good weather!

World Youth Day Stats

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Some pretty neat stats on what's going down Down Under: SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 16, 2008 (Zenit.org) -Some 225,000 youth are participating in World Youth Day, which began Tuesday and will end Sunday with a closing Mass that could gather a half million people.The organizers report that 125,000 of the young pilgrims are from countries other than Australia; another 100,000 are from the host nation. The event is the biggest and most multinational ever held on Australian soil, even more so than the 2000 Olympics. (wow. my emphasis) The United States is the foreign country that sent the most pilgrims, with 15,000.Youth Day organizers have provided these statistics as well:An estimated 8,000 volunteers are assisting with the activities. Some 2,000 priests and 500 bishops and cardinals are present; 500 chasubles were made for the prelates and a stole for each of the priests.One million hosts for Holy Communion were made and 120 bottles of wine will be used for the opening and closing Ma…

Faith - Try It! You'll Like It!

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After dropping off Rebecca for work, and on the way to purchase new hiking shoes for next week's adventure (click here! ... I can't wait!) I decided to catch the 8:30 Mass at Holy Cross, a neighboring parish. I was caught up again in the beauty of the eastern wall o' windows (pictured here, thanks to the iPHONE! Again!)

These bad boys are at least 25 feet high and a blaze of glory. But looking at them, during the homily (sorry Father), I got to thinking:

If the cars cruising down Baltimore Pike should perchance cast a glance towards the church right now, what would they see? Only darkness, blotted shapes, and metal bands holding oddly shaped glass together. Only the people on the inside can see their true beauty.

ENTER: A separate stream of thought that should collide with the first stream like in Ghostbusters when they crossed the streams and there was a huge explosion.

Last night on the radio, I interviewed Jennifer Fulwiler (see post below), a wonderful wife, mother, and …

Diary of a Former Atheist - Tonight's Radio Guest

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Tonight on the Heart of Things Radio Show, I have the privilege of interviewing Jennifer from "Et Tu?" - You can listen live via internet radio here.

If you are a blogger or a reader of blogs in Catholic circles, you may have heard of this wonderful wife and mother who has been chronicling her journey from atheism into the Catholic Faith over the past two years. With humor and deep insight, she unpacks the journey into God and the deepening of the life of faith, facilitates lengthy discussion threads, and occasionally addresses the presence of scorpions in the life of her household. Tune in tonight at 5pm EST!


ABOUT JEN (taken from "Et Tu?")

I'm 31, married, and have three children ages three and under. I have a background as a web designer/developer but am now Director of Chaos Management for my household. I was an atheist my entire life until around age 26 -- I never once considered the possibility that God might exist, not even as a child. I saw no absolutely …

Alligators and Boars and Jesus, Oh My!!

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Today wraps up the first annual "Be Not Afraid" Youth Conference Retreat at Ave Maria University near Naples, Florida; strategically held at a place where there is, in fact, much to fear.The following list of deadly beasts is authentic and has not been doctored up or exaggerated in any way (and was revealed to me by "Christie," who gave me this list AFTER she picked me up at the Fort Myers Airport... ha ha ha)- panthers
- black bear
- wild boar (I met a guy named Anthony who has bagged 14 of them with
a bow and arrow. I am NOT making any of this up)
- alligators (exhibit A, pictured above; sadly his ferocity may seem
dwarfed by my finger. I found him this morning, floating just outside
the main hall where the retreat was held. Awesome)
- five species of poisonous snakes (and of course, lots of non-
poisonous cousins)
- black widow spiders (helloooooooo)
- mosquitoes that could carry small packages on their backs."Be not afraid."Indeed.Ave Maria University just…

A Wing and a Prayer

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We were flying over the east coast towards Naples, Florida this
afternoon, when the sun broke through this bank of clouds. Amazing!
Having a snazzy camera in this iPhone sure comes in handy. I know, I
know... Nerd Boy strikes again. (PS - the 3G version of the iPhone was
released today. Double the memory, half the price, dang it. Good
things come to those who wait!)I've been invited to speak at a Youth Conference at Ave Maria
University tomorrow. Fresh from an incredible week with the Theology
of the Body Institute, I get to carry some of that fire down south to
the youth who will come to the weekend. So I'm flying, praying,
preparing, missing Rebecca, fumbling through the pages of the
experiences of my life and asking Jesus what He wants me to share. Did
I mention I'm missing Rebecca?Giving talks over the years, I've discovered that the best ones come
pouring from these experiences of life. I stress about the flow, the
bullet points, and Jesus just keeps …

Let Freedom Bling?

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I was in the city yesterday, waiting to pick up the Mrs. and sitting outside of Independence Hall. Fitting, eh? Today this historically rich city of Philadelphia will be booming and blasting with fireworks and all shimmery with swirling "glow in the dark" necklaces for kids, and cheesy fries. Lots of cheesy fries. It's gonna be big! Bigger than all of us! It's America's Birthday!

We all like BIG. I think in a positive sense it reminds us that we're small. We discover that we're part of a BIGGER picture; that the World isn't just our little brush stroke of a life in one corner of the painting. We play a part in a big Glorious Canvas and are members of one BIG human family. This puts all of our "little" problems into perspective. Or at least it should.

But when BIG becomes quantifiable in the amount of stuff we gather, rather than qualifiable in the measure of love we receive or give, then we've got problems. This is a BIG deal. The freedom …

Taste and See!

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Today is the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle. Beautifully, his quest for tangible "proof" in the resurrection of the dead, the turning of the tide that sweeps all of humanity under her tow, was initiated by this man. A man of science we might say. A man who wanted to affirm sensory data, to take in all the reports, not just of hearsay or someone else's witness, but quantifiable, experiential evidence. Thomas wanted to "taste and see that the Lord is good," and would not rest with merely the fragrance of that food from another's plate. He would feast his own eyes on Incorruptible Flesh, and would plunge his own hands into those very real wounds to be sure this was no impostor.

Good for Thomas. Faith needs works like this sometimes. We should all press on to taste and see, to experience the Lord not just through another's feelings or philosophy. We should enter through that Door ourselves with our whole person, and never be afraid of the results. God has g…

True Beauty

Last night, Rebecca and I saw the above ad for Dove's Self-Esteem Project. Now I don't watch a ton of TV so I may be coming in late on the game here. The ad almost knocked me out of my seat. With the beautiful song True Colors playing softly in the background, it called out the distortions and exaggerations of femininity in the media, throwing the spotlight on their obsession with certain physical traits as ideals for "real" beauty. So many fall into the trap of thinking that this model is the model for what is beautiful! Statistics say that only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful. Tragic! So to help girls recognize their intrinsic worth before the media gives them a distorted lens to look through, Dove is proclaiming that true beauty lies deeper than the skin-deep deceptions of air-brushed super-models and surgically altered body parts. Thank God for these ads. St. Peter once wrote that a woman's beauty was not so much an "external one: braiding t…

Don't Just Do Something! Sit There!

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"Run, run, run" said the automobile, and we ran. "Run for your life. Take to your heels.... Foolish school of fish on wheels..."
- James Taylor

Hmm. I am guilty of this. I move too fast, even in the summa'time! I get up early, my mind swimming through a swarm of ideas. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, I "live too fast just as we eat too fast and do not savor the true taste of food." I am often awakened to the fact that I don't make enough time for prayer. Real prayer; the real crying out to God and opening up to God that makes us look like little birds in a big nest, wide mouthed and waiting for Him to feed us. I keep picking at the nest, milling around for scraps. My saving grace and the fuel for my soul is daily Mass (which I missed this morning, dang it). There's the most real prayer of all, the Perfect Prayer, as the saints and mystics tell us. They also say that all of life should be either a preparation for or a thanksgiving after Hol…